Joint Venture Awarded Contract for Ligerz Tunnel Project in Switzerland

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The IBD joint venture, composed of Implenia, Bernasconi, and De Luca, has been selected by the Swiss rail infrastructure operator, SBB, to undertake a significant contract on the Ligerz Tunnel project. The tunnel is under construction at the Jura Railway line’s southern base in Switzerland. It aims to ease a critical bottleneck on the Jurafuss line between Lausanne and Biel.

Cost and length of the Ligerz Tunnel Project in Switzerland

This contract is valued at CHF220M (£198M) and entails the construction of a 2.1km double-track tunnel. It will also primarily be carved out by mining techniques for approximately 1,850m and the remaining 250m through cut-and-cover. Additionally, the contract includes the creation of four escape tunnels, a 114m viaduct for the N5 highway exit, and several other structures.

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Ligerz Tunnel Project’s Completion Date

SBB previously projected Ligerz Tunnel Project’s construction completion by 2026. This would allow for dismantling the existing single-track line. However, this completion date may need adjustment due to legal uncertainties causing delays in the tunnelling work award procedure. The contract assigned to IBD represents Lot 2 of the project. Furthermore, the construction of Lot 1, encompassing the western portal and tunnel track diversions, is already in progress. Christian Späth, Implenia’s head of civil engineering, attributes their successful contract bid to their prior experience executing similar projects in the region.

Due to the limited space between the lake and the inclined topography where the N5 national road and a local road are already tunnelled, tunnelling presents the only viable solution at this location. The Ligerz Tunnel project faces significant environmental challenges. Thus, it is positioned in a protected area recognised in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments. Moreover, the nearby villages of La Neuveville, Chavannes, Ligerz, and Twann are classified as Swiss Heritage Sites of National Importance.